The attack on classical studies is part of a broader assault on the humanities, art and culture in American society.
Since its launching in February 1998, the World Socialist Web Site has devoted a great deal of attention to artistic and cultural matters. We have reviewed thousands of works—films, concerts, plays, television series, novels, albums—and commented on artistic currents and problems out of a concern, above all, for the development of the social awareness and consciousness of the working class.
Marxists consider that art and culture play “an immense role in shaping and broadening the outlook of the working class, sharpening its awareness of the injustices of capitalism, strengthening and refining the workers’ outrage and willingness to sacrifice and making more ardent their belief and confidence in the possibility of realizing socialism and building a society based on genuine social equality and solidarity.” (Introduction to The Sky Between the Leaves, David Walsh)
Our attitude toward present-day cultural life is highly critical. Indeed, as a leading German socialist once explained, “contemporary culture is the enemy of culture.” Triviality, self-centeredness and social indifference largely prevail. Art, if it is to make a deep impact and endure, needs to turn its attention, by whatever means it chooses, to the great questions and convulsions of our day.
Writers, biographers protest W.W. Norton’s decision to “permanently” remove Blake Bailey’s biography of Philip Roth from print
Bailey’s book, likely to be the standard work on Roth’s life for some time to come, has been “pulped” and its author turned overnight into a “non-person.” There is no precedent for this in recent times.
On his sophomore album, Slowthai’s self-analysis is counterbalanced by regressive bluster.
2021 San Francisco International Film Festival—Part 4
Serious films about serious things—This Is My Desire (Nigeria), Radiograph of a Family (Iran), Poppy Field (Romania)
There were some well-made and thoughtful films screened at the recent San Francisco film festival, which give one some hope.
This talk was given in Chicago and in Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo, Michigan, in late 2017 and early 2018 to mark the centenary of the October Revolution.
Lecture at San Diego State University
This is an edited version of a talk given at San Diego State University on April 18 by WSWS arts editor David Walsh. Audio of the talk is included.
An important new book explores the period of musical history brought to an end by fascist barbarism.
Classical works by composers who died at the hands of the Nazis or who were forced into exile have been receiving increased attention. Conductor James Conlon has taken the lead in this project to rescue unjustly neglected or unknown work.